By Kevin Fitzpatrick - Last updated: Tuesday, January 12, 2016
John Galloway and Kip Turner, former All-American goalies at Syracuse University and the University of Virginia, respectively, combine to show you a couple goalie drills to improve reaction time. Defending against tennis balls and a crazy ball can offer benefits that practicing with a regular ball can’t provide.
Finding the Release Point
Drill Summary: A coach or player stands about 10 yards in front of the goal and fires tennis balls at the goalie in the net. The goalie works to maintain a good stance and stop as many balls as they can. Step toward the ball aggressively and make the save with the stick or the body. Once the goalie gets comfortable with tennis balls, have them do the drill with a crazy ball to make bounces unpredictable and improve reaction time.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Relaxed top hand (steering wheel).
2) Drive with bottom hand (gas pedal).
3) Get as much surface area on the ball as possible.
4) Step to the ball aggressively.
By Kevin Fitzpatrick - Last updated: Tuesday, July 14, 2015
The best goalies are the ones that can shift their sticks at the blink of an eye to stop an incoming ball. Ivan Cohen, German National Team goaltending coach, runs his goalies through the “Quick Sticks to the Goalie” drill to reinforce the fundamentals of making point-blank saves.
Quick Sticks to the Goalie Drill
Drill Summary: Set up with a goalie in the net and a shooter with a ball about five yards in front of the net. To begin, the shooter walks in front of the net (staying about five yards away) while firing quick shots at the goalie’s top side of their dominant hand. After completing shots to the dominant side, practice on taking shots on the off-side. Don’t allow rebounds and make saves with square feet to be ready to deliver an outlet pass.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Efficient footwork.
2) Keep the bottom hand at about 12 inches.
3) See the ball into the stick.
4) Drive hands to the ball.
By Kevin Fitzpatrick - Last updated: Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Lehigh University goalie coordinator, Errol Wilson, uses these wall ball drills to get his goalies to stop balls using their top (drive) hand. Coach Wilson stresses the importance of training the top hand, as goalies use it to control where their sticks go while defending the net.
Top Hand Drill
Drill Summary: The goalie stands in front of a wall with a goal outline taped on it. The goalie takes their stance and gets their stick in ready position, but keeps only their top (drive) hand on the stick. The coach throws a ball at the goalie, who must use only their drive hand to make the save. Throw the ball back and repeat. Progression: Have the goalie stand a few feet off the wall, and throw the ball off the wall so the goalie has to stop it using a quick reaction.
Keys to the Drill:
1) No false movements.
2) It’s okay to keep your other hand in front of your body.
3) Use the same motions as you would with two hands on the stick.
4) Always start in a good stance.
By nate.landas - Last updated: Tuesday, November 12, 2013
In this drill, the crucial element of making the correct step to the ball is reinforced by Phil Barnes, Assistant Coach for the 2013 NCAA Championship – University of North Carolina Women’s Lacrosse team. You will learn a simple, yet effective workout that involves many repetitions to create muscle memory.
Player Movements: Breakdown begins with the first step or lead step, then by the back foot following and finishing even with the lead foot. This teaches the goalie to be in a ready position after each save.
Drill Essentials: Notice the proper form is displayed, then repeated multiple times to create “muscle memory”.
Drill Tips: Make sure the stick head and foot arrive at the same time. It’s fundamental in getting to the ball and making the save.